It's over. Surprised Merkley took the spot over Novick. I voted for neither. However, of the two, I had hoped and just assumed Novick would take the crown, especially after Merkley's absolutely ridiculous ad with he and his young daughter, a child too young to understand the complexities of the issues Merkley is addressing. And besides that, using your child to garner votes? Please.
Of course this leaves Merkley to challenge Smith. Makes me want to draw up bumper stickers reminiscent of the "Anybody But Bush" dumper sticker days, only insert "Smith".
Obama of course took Oregon. I've been a bit surprised at his turn around. All along, since day one, I've felt Hillary would go all the way. Well, nonetheless, it appears as though we'll need to make some "Anybody But McCain" bumper stickers.
Not to sound too encouraging, meaning not to sound as though I still believe in the system, I still know the candidates who make it to the top are puppets for the corporate agenda and are appointed.
Yikes. Have you heard some doctors are now charging their clients a retainer fee? That's right. Regardless of whether or not you actually see the doctor for a visit (which as we know, can take 6 weeks plus just for a basic appointment), some doctors are now charging fees just to make sure you stay on as a patient. The fees go as high as several hundred dollars. On top of the outrageous premiums, deductibles and those oh-so-fun moments when the HELLth Care Company decides, for no good reason, to deny you coverage so you have to pay that bill on your own, to put a retainer fee on patients is an outrage. Perhaps understandable in those situations where this is due to doctors who take primarily medicare patients, where doctor reimbursements are typically only 80%, it's still an outrage. HELLth care in this country is broken. Done. Finished. Time to boot the corporate fuckers to the curb. Let them go without. Stand in line at the food banks. Let them sweat how to afford food, shelter and medications on the pittance of today's wages.
Growing Our Own Food:
We visited the local farmer's market today. Aside from being a bit surprised to find out produce was really no less expensive than going to the local co-op, we did pick up some wonderful veggie starts. I've decided I no longer care about the homeowner's opinion. I'm going to dig up some grass, make a raised bed (somehow) and plant some squash and potatoes. I spent part of the afternoon tenderly planting these little ones. There's something oh so wonderful about planting your own food. It gives you a sense of, well, self-sufficiency. I highly recommend anyone and everyone to do this. Even if you don't have a yard, many veggies grow just fine in containers. In fact, so far, each of our veggies is in containers and will remain so during the growing season. I placed them on a table though to keep the slugs away, or at least give the slugs one hell of a challenge. One of the vendors at the market told us the usual: put out stale beer. So we'll give that a try as I am insistent on keeping inorganic chemicals out of our food and yard. We checked out some indoor units that allow you to grow year-round inside. We may just invest in one of those at some point.
$133.00. Per barrel. $200 by years end.
For all of the talk, at times enthusiastic about the cost going up, enthusiastic because it would cause people to get out of their cars and walk, bike, use public transportation, this is not something we should be cheering. At all. We're a petroleum-based economy, like it or not. And while we need, neeeeeeed, to be creating alternative sources of fuel (HINT HINT HINT: HEMP HEMP HEMP) like mad NOW NOW NOW, we need not be finding this encouraging news for the SUV drivers, etc. This effects us all. It's one of those situations where "trickle down" really does work. However, like "trickle down", the only ones who reap the rewards are those at the top.
Wishing for the suffering of others isn't peaceful. And it isn't sustainable. As tempting as it is to wish for those at the top to suffer (and trust me, I get in these mindsets just like you and most everyone else), we're either truly all in the same boat or we're not.
Irresponsible Pet Owners:
While I was doing my gardening today, I headed out front to get some sticks to use as stakes. Once I opened the fence, I was greeted (and startled) by a young black lab mix, who barked at me timidly and aggressively from several feet away. I had seen this little one before, about 8 months ago, when she was just a puppy. At the time, she wasn't as aggressive, but was instead quite timid. And very hyper. At the time I was able to coax her over to me, put her inside my fenced yard and somehow managed, in between all of the insanity of jumping up and down all over me, to get a phone number off the dog tag. One of the owners showed up--a young college student, male. He was very appreciative and seemed quite worried. I told him they needed to be very careful given we live near a fairly busy road. Keep her confined at all times and due some leash work. I also mentioned she could use some training (which is a funny term considering it is the owners who really receive the trainin) and more food. She was so skinny, you could see her ribs. That's not always unusual with young pups, but I thought to mention it anyway.
So today, this young lab was back. She was just as skinny. And as mentioned, much much timid and certainly had that air of aggressiveness. She seemed to be much more frightened of Mr. Nina (who had come out to join me at this point) than she did me. Someone, likely male, has obviously abused this poor thing. Or shall I say abuses. And it absolutely breaks my heart and puts me in this internal rage where I want to beat the shit out of anyone who could mistreat such a beautiful creature. Once she saw me, once she realized I was not going to be intimidated, she ran off, stopping to look back at me. So, I sat down in the driveway and watched her. She ran to a nearby neighbors yard and began sniffing around, looking over at me now and then. I slowly followed her, walking casually, watching my inner energy so that I gave off the feeling of calm and assertiveness. I wanted to let this dog know she did not scare me and that I, as the human, was in charge. That and I was not going to hurt her.
I sat down on the sidewalk and watched her. She would look up now and then and bark, although in time her bark was more quiet, less aggressive. Her tail was no longer between her legs. She would get closer to me and then back off. Unfortunately, she never did get close enough so that I could get a reading on her tag and I certainly didn't want to make any sudden movements.
In time, she took off through a fence and did not return. Maybe she will. Maybe she will come back and decide to trust--even for a few seconds--so that I can find out where these owners live and make it clear: Train your dog, feed it and love it or else I'm going to report you. Or perhaps I will just do that anyway. Although the idea of this poor thing being hauled off by animal control and some idiot at one of the kill shelters deciding she isn't "adoptable" (which is an absurd concept since EVERY SINGLE DOG AND CAT is rehabilitatible, unless it is of course so sickly it is dying--I'm talking behavior) is a concern of mine.
It's easy to think "oooh, puppy! How cuuuute!" But that cuteness quickly turns to annoyance for some pet owners. In time, it can turn to neglect and abuse. Just like having a child, not everyone is fit to be a pet owner, at least at the offset. For you see, we all have the capacity to love, protect and nurture, and as such, we can all be guided, trained/educated and, most important of all, supported to be a parent, regardless of what it is we parent, chosen or not.